Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Whirlwind

Another one of those weeks that seemed to have landed like that tornado that swept away Dorothy to OZ.
Beginning with The Everett Herald's article on Third Place Press, that exposed our endeavor to the upper northern suburbs. It was a great piece, though it was originally started in December (but not to gripe--I'd rather they take their time and fact-check than do a rush piece).

So most of the week was spent relying to emails, fielding phone calls, talking to curious bystanders. Most of it was in regards to self-publishing. It seems that with every new piece written about the EBM, more and more people are coming out of the wood work to try and publish some long-anguished, hidden manuscript; be it fiction, memoir, or, say, knife collecting. The publishing landscape, and the subjects published therein is getting interesting.

Finished the project with the estimable Bruce Taylor. "Mountains of the Night" just finished it's first batch printing today, and Bruce had sold a copy even before he left Lake Forest Park. The bookstore is doing a book event with Bruce on March 12th, so it'll be exciting to see the whole book writing-producing-marketing-touring cycle so intimately engaged.

We've also lined something up (details to be finalized) with Steve Almond. Partially based on his excellent essay about self-publishing with the EBM. I especially liked how he made the connection between small bands selling their own CDs on tour; that's a similar analogy I've made about the potential of the EBM to assist all writers, not just writers who can't get 'big publishing' contracts.

Kassia Krozser makes some great statements about the whole e-book 'revolution'. I'm not against e-books, but they are not the savior the publishing industry is looking for. Especially since the writer says that e-books themselves are sorely lacking in any kind of innovative thinking. Not gussying up an e-book with multi-media, but simple typographical choices, for starters.

For part of the week I was following the hullabaloo over at the Digital Book World twitter trend feed. Wish I could've been there to see what these free(er) thinkers on the publishing industry had to say.

A terrible week for the literary world, with JD Salinger, Howard Zinn and Louis Auchincloss moving on into larger spheres of the imagination. One commenter on Twitter said that while Salinger died, since he was 91, it wasn't that surprising, or shocking. But I think the point they are missing (especially coming from me, a person who has only read 1 Salinger short story--to the chagrin of many close friends. I do plan to change that, honestly I do) is that these writers wove tendrils of emotion into our lives and in passing, they get tugged, and we as a culture feel something, a loss, but also the collective memory of reading each author for the first time; of discussing their works with friends; of the joy when we convince someone we like to read these authors; how they all helped us become a tiny bit closer to the rest of the world. Even if one of them was one of the world's most famous literary recluses. Has anyone checked Pynchon's pulse lately?

Frivolities: Tiny Tiny Books; and not-so-frivolous: Book piracy.

I've more to write about, but the day has just imploded (in a good way). Onto and into another night, with another day of book making to follow it!

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